February 10, 1995 in Nation/World

Teen Sentenced For Killing Gays

Compiled From Wire Services

A teenager was convicted Thursday of murdering two gay men in a robbery, despite claims he was trying to avoid being raped and infected with the AIDS virus.

Marvin McClendon, a 17-year-old high school sophomore, was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms by Circuit Judge Billy Landrum.

The prosecution claimed McClendon is a troubled youth who stole $100 from the men before he killed them.

Defense lawyer J. Ronald Parrish, however, claimed that McClendon shot Robert Walters, 34, and Joseph Shoemake, 24, while fighting off unwanted sexual advances and out of fear that he might be infected with HIV.

McClendon’s first trial was canceled last week because the 70-member jury pool lacked enough black members. The 12-member panel seated Tuesday included five blacks. McClendon is black; Walters and Shoemake were white.

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